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Syllabus 3

Past papers 5
2016 5
2017 5

Anthropology 6
Definition 6
Historical development and recent trends 6

Social Anthropology 8
Culture 8
Relationship of anthropology with other social sciences 12
Sub fields of anthropology 14
Institution of Family and Marriage 16
Kinship and Social Organisation 22
Economic Organisation 32
Political organisation 41
Religion?? 44
Contemporary human problems?? 44

Urban Anthropology 44
Rural-urban Migration 44
Expansion of cities/ urbanisation/ development 46

Ethnicity and race 47

Ethnic Groups and Ethnicity: (kottak: ch6) 47
Origin of race and theories 48
Ethnic Groups, Nations and Nationality (kottak: ch6) 51
Ethnic Conflict (kottak: ch6) 52
Degree of Social Variation (Ember) 54
Rank Societies; (heviland:ch22) 57
Social Stratification (heviland:ch11, 22): Pick points from variation section 59
Racism and Inequality, (EMBER) 61
Ethnicity and Inequality, (EMBER) 62

Socio-Cultural Changes 63
Need to read, make notes!! 63

Anthropological theories 63
Hamza’s notes (need to self-read) 63

Anthropological research methods 63

Hamza’s notes (need to self-read) 63
I. Anthropology
§ Definition of anthropology, its historical development and recent trends
II. Social Anthropology
§ Definition of culture, its characteristics and functions
§ Relationship of anthropology with other social sciences
§ Sub fields of anthropology that is Biological, archeological, linguistics
§ Institution of Family and Marriage
(Definition, types, structure, functions, family organisation)
§ Kinship and Social Organisation
(Definition, types, functions, kinship terminology etc)
§ Economic Organization:
(Definition, evolution, substantivism versus formalism, reciprocity, production, consumption,
redistribution, barter and primitive economic systems)
§ Political organization:
(Definition, evolution of political system, characteristics of Band societies, tribal societies,
Chiefdom, and State societies. Internal conflict theories, external conflict theories, origin of
civilization, ethnicity, nationalism
the politic of identity, , modernism, post modernism etc (need to read, make notes)
§ Religion:
(Definition, evolution of primitive religions, functions of religion, comparison of divine religions
and other world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism etc)
§ Contemporary human problems
such as poverty,
social inequality (ethnicity and inequality??, racism and inequality??)
political instability,
population problems
ethnic violence (SAME AS ethnic confilct??)
and terrorism (ember)
III. Urban Anthropology (left for now, will cover before November!!)
Rural-urban migration, expansion of cities,major environmental issues, and sanitation problems.
Urbanization development, establishment of slums and squatter settlements, refugees, Yankees,
betties, gypsies, wars and conflict. Conversion of power from feudal to industrialists,
institutionalization, education system, change in the mode of production: agriculture to
Capitalists’ poverty: theories and remedies, psychological, cultural, economical, political,
religious, physical, environmental, ecological, demographical, lingual, and city management.
Conflict theory: Carl Marx, problems created by the mechanization and automation.
IV. Socio-Cultural Changes (need to read, make notes, will cover before november)
Definitions of socio-cultural Changes, various Dimensions of Social Change, barriers in socio-
cultural and psychological change. Motivational factors for change, Population pressure,
diffusion of innovation, socio-religious barriers in accepting the innovation and new ideas. Media
and Cultural Change, Dynamics of change in Pakistan: Trends and Prospects
V. Ethnicity and race
Ethnic Groups and Ethnicity: (kottak: ch6)
Origin of race and theories; (hevilek: ch12)
Ethnic Groups, Nations and Nationality; (kottak: ch6)
Ethnic Conflict; (kottak: ch6)
Degree of Social Variation (ember)
Rank Societies; (heviland:ch22)
caste and Class Societies; (heviland:ch22)
Racism and Inequality, (ember)
Ethnicity and Inequality, (ember)
Social Stratification (heviland:ch11, 22)
VI. Anthropological Theories (hamza notes)
§ Contributors: (Edward Burnett Taylor, Lewis Henry Morgan, James Frazer, Kari Marx, Edmund
Leach, Franz Boas, Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, Alfred Krobber, AR Radcliff-Brown,
Malinowski, Clifford Geertz, Talal Asad, Akbar S Ahamd, ibne-Khaldoon, Shah Waliulah)
§ Classical Theories (Degenerations, Evolutionism, Diffusions,
§ Modern Theories Functionalism, Structural-functionalism, Class struggle, Structuralism,
Historical Particularism, Feminism, Culture and personality)
§ Current Trends in Anthropological Thoughts: (Post Modernism, Romanticism, Poetics and
Political of Ethnography)
VII. Anthropological Research Methods (hamza notes)
§ Meaning, definition, types and aims of social research
§ Qualitative and Quantitative research
§ Purpose of research, Research Question, Variables, Hypothesis, Research Objective, Research
design, Sampling, field Data Collection, Tools of Data Collection (Questionnaire, Interview,
Participant Observation), Data Classification, Data Analysis, and Report Writing.

Past papers


Q. No. 2. Define Culture and its major Characteristics; also discuss how the discipline of
Anthropology is different from other Social Sciences? (20)

Q. No. 3. Discuss major Socio-cultural and psychological barriers to change.


Q. No. 4. What are the major Anthropological Research Techniques which are used to collect field
data? Also discuss how Qualitative Research is different from Quantitative Research? (20)

Q. No. 5. What are the major Contemporary Social Problems of Pakistan?


Q. No. 6. What is the Anthropological definition of Religion and its major functions? Also discuss
how the primitive religion was evolved? (20)

Q. No. 7. Describe the theory of Social Evolution given by Lewis H. Morgan & E. B. Tylor. (20)

Q. No. 8. Write short notes on any FOUR of the following: (5 each)

(a) Acculturation & Enculturation

(b) Emic & Etic

(c) Endogamy & Exogamy

(d) Consanguine & Affine Relatives

(e) Ethnocentrism

(f) Neolithic Culture

Q. 2 How perspective of Anthropology can be used to study global trends like global warming and
erosion of bio-adversity? (20)

Q. 3 How applied anthropology can be utilized to solve the problems faced by humanity in
contemporary world? (20)

Q. 4 Write a detailed account of gift exchange. Give samples from everyday life to substantiate
your answer. (20) 

Q. 5 Define "animism" and state the evolutionary scheme of religion provided by E. B. Tylor. (20)

Q. 6 What is incest taboo? Explain different theories about incest taboo. (20)

Q. 7 Is this poverty which is the real cause of overpopulation or it is the population pressure that is
responsible for increasing poverty? Substantiate your argument by quoting relevant facts and
figures. (20) 

Q. 8 Write short notes on any FOUR of the following: (5 each)

(a) Sororal Polygyny & Sororate

(b) Uxorilocal residence & Virilocal Residence

(c) Phratry & Moiety

(d) Research tools & Research Method

(e) Paleolithic Culture

(f) Ethnography


• The word ‘anthropology’ is ultimately from the Greek (anthropos, ‘human’, plus logos,
‘discourse’ or ‘science’).

• confronts and ponders major questions of human existence as it explores human biological
and cultural diversity in time and space

• study of what makes us human

• study of the human species and its immediate ancestors

• exploration of human diversity in time and space

• comparative field: examines all societies, ancient and modern, simple and complex

• offers a unique cross-cultural perspective by constantly comparing the customs of one

society with those of others.

• Anthropologists also compare humans with other animals (most often, other primates
like monkeys and chimpanzees) to see what we have in common with them and what
makes us unique.

• holistic science: study of the whole of the human condition: past, present, and future;
biology, society, language, and culture (expand on each variable)

• Anthropologists also try to understand how people interact in social relationships (for
example with families and friends).

Historical development and recent trends

Varying theories on where the discipline began:

• Largely held belief: it traces its roots to ancient Greek historical and philosophical writings
about human nature and the organisation of human society.

• many philosophers, like Aristotle, were conducting studies of anthropological nature as

early as the 4th century BC.

• anthropology, as a scientific discipline, has its roots in the European Enlightenment during the
eighteenth century. It is also believed that it evolved due to the other disciplines like social and
cultural sciences, archeology, sociology, and history.

• originated in ‘the West’, notably in three or four ‘Western’ countries: France, Great

Britain, the USA and, and Germany.

• The European Age of Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries marked the rise of
scientific and rational philosophical thought.

• Enlightenment thinkers, such as Scottish-born David Hume, John Locke of England,

and Jean-Jacques Rousseau of France, wrote a number of humanistic works on the
nature of humankind.

• They based their work on philosophical reason rather than religious authority and
asked important anthropological questions.

• Today it is clearly considered a social science, and many aspects cross over into other social
science disciplines, such as psychology, history, sociology, philosophy, etc.

Development and Recent trends

Early Perspective (cultural evolutionists)

• 19th century anthropologists constructed stages of cultural progress to explain cultural
differences called unilinear evolution

• Lewis Henry Morgan, Edward Tylor and James Frazer, Henry Maine

• savagery → barbarism → civilisations

• Technological advances of the Industrial Revolution and the spread of European

colonialism contributed to this belief

Further developments by anthropologists from different areas, moved the field away from
evolutionism to actor, agency, and context studies

American Historical Particularism

• Looked for the past influences on a particular culture that shaped its trajectory

• Emphasised that each culture has its own unique past and must be understood on its
own terms

• Need more information and must go out an collect own data, not read others accounts
of their experiences because they are incomplete and biased and written by untrained
casual observers

• Main proponent: Franz Boas

• Emphasis on cultural relativism

• Focused on collection of empirical data

• Concerned about cultural change and loss of unique cultures

British Functionalism
• Cultural features should be explained in terms of the function they perform

• How ideas and actions contribute to the well being of the individual or the persistence of the
society as a whole

• Main proponent: Bronslow Malinowski

• Emphasized immersing oneself in the culture completely

• Focused on the individual’s actions within the framework of society’s social structure

• Set forth the rules still followed in doing fieldwork in the early 20th century – participant

Mid-20th century approach- Cultural Ecology

• the study of human adaptations to social and physical environments.

• Human adaptation refers to both biological and cultural processes that enable a
population to survive and reproduce within a given or changing environment

• Leslie White – studied technological progress throughout human history

• Julian Steward – though local environment and technology together shaped a culture

Modern Anthropologists
• Modern anthropologist utilise a variety of perspectives in approaching culture

• These can be divided into 2 categories – scientific and humanistic

• Scientific approaches believe that culture can be explained as an adaptation to the

natural and social environment (cultural materialism)

• Humanistic approaches emphasise the uniqueness of culture and resist generalising

about human culture as a whole

• Focus on description and interpretation instead of explanation

Social Anthropology


• Culture refers to the sum of human beings’ life ways, their behaviour, beliefs, feelings, thought;
it connotes everything that is acquired by them as social beings (through communication,

• It is a way of life of the people in a certain geographical area.

• Life style and social pattern of a society being the direct consequence of the
accumulated heritage of ages past distinguish and differentiate one community from

• Culture has been defined in number of ways

• Edward Tylor: “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law,
custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of

• Tylor’s definition focuses on attributes that people acquire not through biological
inheritance but by growing up in a particular society where they are exposed to a
specific cultural tradition.

• There are some writers who add to this definitions some of the important “other capabilities
and habits” such as language and the techniques for making and using tools.

• Culture consists of all learned, normative behaviour patterns – that is all shared ways or
patterns of thinking and feeling as well as doing


Enculturation is the process by which a child learns his or her culture.

Quote Bronislaw Malinowski often


1. Culture is learned
• Culture is learned: combing one’s hair, standing in line, all constitute behaviours which had to
be learned

• Sometimes culture is taught directly: parents telling children to eat food in a certain way

• Sometimes through conscious learning: learning by observation

• Sometimes through unconscious learning: North Americans acquire their culture’s notions
about how far apart people should stand when they talk not through direct or conscious

• On the basis of cultural learning, people create, remember, and deal with ideas

• all human populations have equivalent capacities for culture. Regardless of their genes or their
physical appearance, people can learn any cultural tradition

2. Culture is symbolic
• Symbolic thought is unique and crucial to humans and to cultural learning

• culture originated when our ancestors acquired the ability to use symbols, that is, to originate
and bestow meaning on a thing or event, and, correspondingly, to grasp and appreciate such

• A symbol is something verbal or nonverbal, within a particular language or culture, that comes
to stand for something else

• Symbols are usually linguistic. But there are also nonverbal symbols, such as flags

3. Culture is shared
• Culture is an attribute not of individuals per se but of individuals as members of groups. It is
transmitted in society.

• Shared beliefs, values, memories, and expectations link people who grow up in the same
culture. Enculturation unites people by providing us with common experiences.

• Although a culture constantly changes, certain fundamental beliefs, values, worldviews, and
child-rearing practices endure (e.g. American family’s way of asking children to eat food,
countries change but way of persuasion remains the same)

4. Culture and Nature

• Culture takes the natural biological urges we share with other animals and teaches us how to
express them in particular ways

• people must eat, culture teaches on what to eat, how to eat and when to eat!

• Cultural habits, perceptions, and inventions mould “human nature” in many directions.

• People removing waste in different ways depending on their culture

• Our “bath- room” habits, including waste elimination, bathing, and dental care, are parts of
cultural traditions that have converted natural acts into cultural customs.

5. Culture is All-encompassing
• culture includes much more than refinement, taste, sophistication, education, and
appreciation of the fine arts.

• The most interesting and significant cultural forces are those that affect people every day of
their lives, particularly those that influence children during enculturation

• It encompasses features that are sometimes regarded as trivial or unworthy of serious study,
such as “popular” culture.

6. Culture is integrated
• Cultures are not haphazard collections of customs and beliefs.

• Cultures are integrated, patterned systems.

• If one part of the system (e.g., the economy) changes, other parts change as well

• E.g. during 1950s, most American women wanted “domestic careers” but most of
today’s college women pursue high paying jobs outside

• This has impacted their culture in certain ways: Attitudes and behaviour regarding
marriage, family, and children have changed. Late marriage, “living together,” and
divorce have become more common

• Cultures are also integrated by sets of values, ideas, symbols, and judgments

• A set of characteristic central or core values (key, basic, or central values) integrates
each culture and helps distinguish it from others. e.g. individualism in America


1. Culture Defines Situations

• Each culture has many subtle cues which define each situation.

• It reveals whether one should prepare to fight, run, laugh or make love.

• For example, suppose someone approaches you with right hand outstretched at waist

• But in another place or time the outstretched hand might mean hostility or warning.

• Each society has its insults and fighting words. The cues (hints) which define situations appear
in infinite variety.

• A person who moves from one society into another will spend many years misreading the

2. Culture defines Attitudes, Values and Goals

• Each person learns in his culture what is good, true, and beautiful.

• Attitudes, values and goals are defined by the culture.

• Attitude are tendencies to feel and act in certain ways.

• Values are measures of goodness or desirability, for example, we value private property

• Goals are those attainments which our values define as worthy, (e.g.) winning the race

• By approving certain goals and ridiculing others, the culture channels individual ambitions.

• In these ways culture determines the goals of life.

3. Culture defines Myths, Legends, and the Supernatural

• Myths and legends are important part of every culture.

• They may inspire, reinforce effort and sacrifice and bring comfort in bereavement. Whether
they are true is sociologically unimportant. (e.g. belief in spirits)

• Culture also provides the individual with a ready-made view of the universe.

• The nature of divine power and the important moral issues are defined by the culture.

• The individual does not have to select, but is trained in a Christian, Buddhist, Hindu,
Muslim or some other religious tradition.

• This tradition gives answers for the major (things imponderable) of life, and fortuities
the individual to meet life’s crises.

4. Culture provides Behaviour Patterns

• The individual need not go through painful trial and error learning to know what foods can be
eaten (without poisoning himself), or how to live among people without fear.

• He finds a ready-made set of patterns awaiting him which he needs only to learn and follow.

• The culture maps out the path to matrimony. The individual does not have to wonder how one
secures a mate; he knows the procedure defined by his culture.

• it seems clear also that a culture imposes limits on human and activities.

• disorderly behaviour is restricted and orderly behaviour is promoted.

• Social order cannot rest on the assumption that men will spontaneously behave in ways
conducive to social harmony.

Relationship of anthropology with other social sciences

• Holism, is both a unifying and distinctive aspect of Anthropology as compared to other fields

• For example, techniques used to date fossils and artefacts have come to anthropology from
physics, chemistry, and geology. (anthropologist often collaborates with others for research)

• It is both scientific (uses scientific methods for its purposes) and humanistic

• It also has links to the natural sciences: e.g., geology, zoology

• social sciences: e.g., sociology, psychology

• humanities: English, comparative literature, classics, folklore, philosophy, and the arts (e.g.

Anthropology vs. Social Sciences

1. anthropology and sociology

Similarities Differences

share an interest in social relations, organisation, Initially each studied different kinds of societies

and behaviour. • Sociologists studied industrial West

• Anthropologists studied non-industrial societies

The two fields are converging in methods and Different methods of data collection and analyses

• sociologists> studied large-scale, complex
nations> reliance on questionnaires (quantifiable
• Sociologist now work in developing nations
data: statistical techniques and sampling
• Anthropologists now work in industrial nations> commonly employed)

study rural decline etc. • Anthropologists> studied small, non literate

populations> statistical training less common>
ethnography> fieldwork method> participant
observation> focus on descriptive aspects

2. Anthropology and Psychology

• most psychologists do research in their own society

• statements about “human” psychology cannot be based solely on observations made in one
society or in a single type of society.

• The area of cultural anthropology known as psychological anthropology studies cross-cultural

variation in psychological traits.

• Societies instil different values by training children differently. Adult personalities reflect a
culture’s child-rearing practices.

• Bronislaw Malinowski’s theory on the “Trobriand Islanders of the South Pacific” challenges
Freud’s Oedipus complex)

3. Anthropology and Arts

• The expressive arts, including graphic art, music, dance, and literature, have long had
a major place in anthropology.

• Archaeologists and cultural anthropologists study art for clues about the culture and
social organisation of a given people, as well as for psychological analyses of what art
reveals about human thought.

• Archaeologists also seek the origins of humans' capacity for creativity and symbolic

• Linguistic anthropologists look at artistic forms of speech, including ritual, to study

how thought and feeling vary by culture and time.

4. Anthropology and Economics

• economic anthropologists, although interested in such conventional topics as
production, consumption, and exchange, also examine economic thought in non-
market societies, ancient civilisations, and societies in transition from one type of
economy to another.

5. Anthropology and Political science

• Political science studies how public and private power is obtained, used, and

• Cultural anthropologists study power too, such as leadership styles in societies of all
types, from non-hierarchical ones to highly stratified states, and from the
contemporary world to ancient Mesopotamia and Greece.

• Political anthropologists are studying important contemporary issues such as ethnic

violence and state disintegration in Ireland and the former Soviet Union, and the way
that global phenomena such as Christianity, nationalism, and democracy vary in
meaning and function across cultures and historical periods.

6. Anthropology and sociology

• Sociologists study the organisation of people into groups, from smaller ones like the family to
larger ones like the corporation.

• Cultural anthropologists also study social organisation, but place greater emphasis on
extensive fieldwork and the method of participant-observation.

• Anthropologists almost always work directly with the people they study, speaking their native
language, and often living in their homes.

• Fieldwork is frequently, but not always, done in a culture different from that of the
anthropologist. By promoting multi- and cross-cultural awareness, sociological generalisations
based on mainstream American culture can be evaluated and sometimes challenged.

7. Anthropology and linguistics

• Linguists study the structure of language. By cracking the code through which linguistic
information is transmitted, they hope to learn more about the structure of the human mind.

• Linguistic anthropologists study the ways in which people use language in different cultures to

• By investigating verbal behavior close-up and first-hand through ethnographic fieldwork, they
are often able to demonstrate not only the variety of speech patterns, but the systematic ways
in which such activities as greetings, oratory, jokes, stories, advertisements, baby-talk, and
"women's language" vary with context and over time.

• These skills have practical applications in the fields of educational consulting, business
communication, document design, and political communication.

8. Anthropology and religion

• anthropologists study the major world religions, they also tend to study the whole range of
human beliefs and rituals, including shamanism and witchcraft.

• In recent years, anthropologists have been at the forefront of scholarship examining the
efflorescence of religious movements in our contemporary world.

• These include Hindutva in India, Pentecostal and Islamic reform movements, and different
forms of secularism and processes of secularisation, for example debates about headscarves
and laïcité in France and creationism in the U.S.

Sub fields of anthropology

(1) Biological
• The subject matter of biological, or physical, anthropology is human biological diversity in time
and space.

• The focus on biological variation unites five special interests within biological anthropology:

1. Human evolution as revealed by the fossil record (paleoanthropology)

2. Human genetics

3. Human growth and development

4. Human biological plasticity (the body’s ability to change as it copes with

stresses, such as heat, cold, and altitude)

5. The biology, evolution, behaviour, and social life of monkeys, apes, and other
nonhuman primates.

• These interests link physical anthropology to other fields

• Charles Darwin’s evolution theory (self-selection) proves that the environment (e.g. nutrition,
altitude etc.) we live in also affects our biology.

• Thus, biological anthropology also investigates the influence of environment on the

body as it grows and matures.

• Also includes primatology

(2) Archeological
• Reconstructs, describes, and interprets human behaviour and cultural patterns through
material remains

• Analysing such data, archaeologists answer several questions about ancient


• From such information, archaeologists reconstruct patterns of production, trade, and


• Archaeologists have spent much time studying potsherds, fragments of earthenware.

• Many archaeologists examine paleoecology (looks at the ecosystems of the past)

• Archaeologists may infer cultural transformations, for example, by observing changes in the
size and type of sites and the distance between them

• Archaeologists also reconstruct behaviour patterns and lifestyles of the past by excavating

• Excavation can document changes in economic, social, and political activities

• They also study the cultures of historical and even living peoples

(3) Linguistics
• Linguistic anthropology studies language in its social and cultural context, across space and
over time.

• Some linguistic anthropologists make inferences about universal features of language,

linked perhaps to uniformities in the human brain.

• Others reconstruct ancient languages by comparing their contemporary descendants

and in so doing make discoveries about history.

• Still others study linguistic differences to discover varied perceptions and patterns of
thought in different cultures.

• Language dialects, speeches different: why?

• geography, as in regional dialects and accents.

• bilingualism of ethnic groups

• Linguistic and cultural anthropologists collaborate in studying links between language and
many other aspects of culture

(4) Cultural
• Study of human society and culture, the subfield that describes, analyses, interprets, and
explains social and cultural similarities and differences

Two tools
1. Ethnography (based on field work)
• provides an account of a particular community, society, or culture

• field work: gather data> describes, analyses> build and present that account in the
form of a book, article.

• have lived in small communities and studied local behaviour, beliefs, customs, social
life, economic activities, politics, and religion

2. Ethnology (based on cross-cultural comparison)

• Examines, interprets, analyses, and compares the results of ethnography

• The Scientific Method: tests hypothesis, build theories

• It gets its data from ethnography and archaeology

Institution of Family and Marriage

• Man is gregarious, man lives in social groupings

• This very nature of man not wanting to live in isolation necessitated the need for man to
create the institutions of the family and marriage

• Institutions of family and marriage are the basic social building blocks in any society linking
otherwise separate groups in a common social unit

• These institutions are a cultural universal i.e. they are operational and obtainable in every
society around the world be it traditional or modern.

• however, the forms and organisations, vary from society to society and through time

The Family

• different definitions of the family exist and this is owing to the fact that the family has
various manifestations, organisation and structures in various societies

• Different anthropologists have suggested different definitions

• the various definitions emphasised different ideas about what the family is, however what is
striking and cross-cutting in all is that:

i. The family is a group of people related or connected by bloodline, marriage rite or


ii. They share common residency. They live together.

iii. They share sentiments of oneness. They view themselves as a unit.

iv. They share values and responsibilities. Perform care taking services for others
especially the very young.

Forms of family
• families are categorised based on the number and generations of people involved in the
family groups and the leadership or power/authority holders in the group

1) Nuclear Family
• The nuclear family refers to a couple along with any dependent, unmarried children
who share a residence and form a social unit.

• The nuclear family is the smallest unit of society and it is also called the „elementary

• anthropologists have distinguished the nuclear family into two broad categories

• The family of orientation or natal family: the family in which one is born and grows up

• The family of procreation or conjugal family: the family formed when one marries and
has children

2) One or Single Parent Family

3) Extended Family
• Units larger than the nuclear family

• extended nuclear units

• three or more generations connected by blood or marriage relationships form a social

unit and live together

• Extension of nuclear units can either be vertical or horizontal

4) Blended Families
• This is a family made up of a couple and children either or both raised in an earlier
marriage, and children they raised together (if any)

• also called „reconstituted‟, „reorganizing‟ or „blended‟ families

5) Compound Family
• This form of family organization can be seen as an overlapping set of nuclear families,
each with the same man as family head

Types of Family
• Types of Family According to Authority and Power Structure

• Authority and decision making in the family varies from society to society

1) Patriarchal Family
• In this kind of family structure, decision making authority and power lies in the hands of the
man whether be it a nuclear family, single family or an extended family

2) Matriarchal Family
• This is a female headed family

• very common in the West Indies and Nayar in India

3) Egalitarian Family
• Power and decision-making authority are equally distributed between the husband and

• Due to Western education, skills, paid employment for women, women emancipation
programmes in recent times

Functions of Family
The family as the basic social institution is playing a vital role central to the survival of any society

1) Nurture
2 )Regulation of Sexual Relationships
3) Procreation
4) Social placement
• An individual acquires his identity and place in society through his family

5) Material and Emotional Security

6) Affection and companionship
7) Protection
8) Socialisation
9) Legitimising Inheritance

The institution of Marriage

• The beginning of a legitimate family is marked by a socially and culturally acceptable legally
consummated union called marriage

• The marriage institution is a common phenomenon present in every society

• difficulties defining the concept marriage

• Largely arises from the variations of marriage arrangements that have been witnessed
in different societies

• conventional definition of marriage is that it is a union between a man and a woman such that
children born to the woman are recognized as legitimate offspring of both parents

• However, Okodudu (2010) assert that the idea of marriage has changed in recent

• In much of the Western European countries, marriage has been conceptualized as a

union between two consenting adults irrespective of their sexes with or without
approval from their parents of family

• hence same sex marriages are being contracted today without the possibility of
having children, except that it is a relationship between two consenting adults that has
been recognised by law

• Marriage also confers upon a man various rights over a woman

• rights to a woman‟s sexual and domestic services

• rights to a woman as a mother

• Marriage must meet the following prerequisites for it to be valid in most societies:
1. Involvement of the parents of couples – sexual regulation and rules of incest

2. Transfer of Bridewealth or Progency transfer – symbol of marriage contract.

3. Religious factor – obtaining supernatural blessings from the church, mosque or

shrines etc

Forms of Mate Selection

1) Endogamy
• This is a marriage practice of selecting mates only from within one’s own social group,
especially from one’s own ethnic group.

2) Exogamy
• This is mate selection outside one’s social group or ethnic group

3) Hypergamy
• A marriage between a high class man and a low class woman in society

4) Hypogamy
• Marriage between a high class woman and a low class man.

5) Homogamy
• Mate selection based on similar characteristics between couple such as; educational, religious
and race affiliation

Types of Marriages
1) Monogamy
• This is a form of marriage between one man and a woman

2) Polygamy
• Polygamy is a form of marriage in which a person has more than one mate

3) Polygyny
• which has to do a man having more than one wife

4) Polyandry
• which involves a woman having more than one husband.

• Fraternal’ or ‘Adelphic’ polyandry: Polyandrous marriages involving siblings (Himalayan


• matriarchal polyandry: where the woman stays at her house and her various husbands come
to live with her in turns

5) Group Marriage
• in this type of marriage all men share marital relations with a group of women

• They all share reciprocal obligations, as it is required in all marriages jointly. No one particular
man owns a wife and vice versa

• Oneida community of the 1960s in New York is often cited as one of such extreme fraternities
that practiced group marriage

6) Levirate Marriage
• This is a type of marriage where a widow is expected to marry her late husband‟s brother

• the younger brother can now raise children for him by marrying the widow

• The children from such a union belong to the dead brother

• Another important reason for this marriage arrangement is to forestall the situation where the
woman could possibly move out with or without children to another family through

7) Widow Inheritance
• In widow inheritance, the brother, son or close relative of the deceased husband inherits the
wife for the same reasons as highlighted in levirate marriage

8) Ghost Marriage
• This is a marriage arrangement whereby in other to perpetuate the name of a dead male
member of a family, a living brother gets married to a woman on behalf of the dead brother
who died a bachelor hence never had an opportunity to get married and have children

9) married or raise a family

• In this case the wife is socially married to the dead man whom she probably never knew and
the children born belongs to the dead man

• This kind of marriage existed among the Nuer of Sudan

10) Woman-to-Woman Marriage

• In this kind of marriage, a wealthy barren woman acquires a wife by performing all traditional
rites and pay appropriate bride wealth. The woman becomes the husband while the lady being
married becomes the wife

• The female husband determines the manner of allocation of her sexual favours by
screening and approving her sexual partners

• Children born belong to the woman-husband who is the Pater (social father) while the man
she arranged to raise children with the woman-wife is the Genitor (Biological father)

• practiced among the Efiks and Kalabaris of the Niger Delta

11) Gift or Charity Marriage

• In this kind of marriage, parents give out one of their young daughters as a gift to their
friends or patrons without any consideration as a demonstration of friendship, honour and
total loyalty

• Hausa people

• Kanuri of Nigeria

12) Child-to-Child Marriage

• In this kind of marriage, parents of betrothed children make perfect the marriage pact as
soon as the boy was of school age between 5-7 years.

13) Pawn Marriage

• This is a situation where a man cannot readily pay his creditor may give out his daughter as
payment for debt owned

14) Wife Capture/Elopement

• This is a situation when a young suitor captures or elopes with a girl he intends to marry.

among the Ezamgbo (Igbo)

15) Cross Cousin/Parallel Cousin Marriage

• Cross and parallel cousin marriage are types of preferential and prescribed marriages;

• preferential marriage: the societal law stipulates that a partner or close relative ought to
marry another close relative in a particular generation or relationship, though it is not

• prescribed marriage: marriage partners could be rigidly fixed by the culture for a man
to take his spouse from among relatives in a given society.

• Fulani and Kanuri in Nigeria

16) Sororate and Sororal Polygyny?????

• Sororate marriage is culturally opposite to levirate marriage

• in sorate, the sister of the dead wife is culturally required to marry the late sister’s

• Zulus of Southern Africa

• Genitor: biological father of the children

• Pater: socially recognised father

• Parallel cousins: children of two brothers or two sisters

• Cross cousins: children of brother and a sister

• Incest: forbidden sexual relationships with a close cousin

• plural marriage: More than two spouses simultaneously, aka polygamy.

• polygyny: Man has more than one wife at the same time.

• polyandry: Woman has more than one husband at the same time.

• sororate: Widower marries sister of his deceased wife.

• levirate: Widow marries brother of her deceased husband.

Kinship and Social Organisation

• Man is gregarious, man lives in social groupings

• This very nature of man not wanting to live in isolation necessitated the need for man to
create the institutions of the family and marriage

• the forms and organisations, vary from society to society and through time

• Kinship is one of the main organising principles of human societies which have its roots in the
predominant extended family.

• Kinship describes and establishes a network of enduring relationships between individuals

and groups on the model of biological relationships between parents and children, between
siblings and between marital partners.

• In nonindustrial contexts, kinship units normally have a much wider array of functions.

• basic units of production, political representation and even as religious bodies for the
worship of spiritual beings

• Several anthropologists define kinship in different ways, but a generally agreed upon definition
is provided by Ewuruigwe (1994):

• “kinship is a socially recognised fact based on the assumption of genealogical

connection between a person and his forebears, real or putative.”

• By this he meant: blood ties happen to be the basis for kinship, however it goes

beyond actual biological ties or a common ancestry… “socially constructed by people

within a culture”

Modes of derivation/ Types

• It is on this basis that Ewuruigwe (1994) established that kinship could be derived from four
• Blood or consanguinity

• Marriage or affinity

• Adoption

• Ritual or fiction e.g. Godfather

1. Consanguineal Kinship
• It refers to the relationships based on blood, i.e., the relationship between parents and
children, and between siblings are the most basic and universal kin relations.

2. Affinal Kinship
• It refers to the relationships formed on the basis of marriage. The most basic relationship that
results from marriage is that between husband and wife

Degrees of Kinship

Primary Kinship
Primary kinship refers to direct relations. People who are directly related to each other are known
as primary kin. There are basically eight primary kins—wife father son, father daughter mother
son, wife; father son, father daughter, mother son, mother daughter; brother sister; and younger
brother/sister older brother/sister.

1. Primary Consanguineal Kinship

kin, who are directly related to each other by birth (e.g. father, mother)

2. Primary Affinal Kinship

the direct relationship formed as a result of marriage (husband and wife)

Secondary Kinship
those who are directly related to primary kin (primary kin’s primary kin) become one’s secondary
kin. There are 33 secondary kin.

1) Secondary Consanguineal kinship

primary consanguineal kin’s primary consanguineal kin (grandparents and grandchildren)

2) Secondary Affinal Kinship

refers to one’s primary affinal kins primary kin.

all his/her sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and parents-in-law

Tertiary Kinship
Tertiary kinship refers to the primary kin of primary kin’s primary kin or secondary kin of primary
kin primary kin of secondary kin. Roughly 151 tertiary kin have been identified.

1) Tertiary Consanguineal Kinship

refers to an individual’s primary consanguineal kin (parents), their primary kin (parents’ parents),
and their primary kin (parent’s parent’s parents).

great grandchildren and great grandparents

2) Tertiary Affinal Kinship

refers to primary affinal kin’s primary kin’s primary kin, or secondary affinal kin’s primary kin, or
primary affinal kin’s secondary kin.

spouse’s grandparents, or grand uncles and aunts

Characteristics of kinship structure

Brown has arrived upon the following characteristics of kinship social structures.

1. Changing system
According to Brown kinship systems are made and remade by men through social processes.

2. Solidarity of the sibling group

Another characteristic of the kinship system is the solidarity of sibling group.

3. Unity of the sibling group

This refers to the unity of the group in relations to a person outside it and connected with it by a
specific relation to one of its members.

4. Sex as the principle of differentiation

In many kinship systems, sex is an important basis for differentiation between different members.

5. Seniority as the principle of differentiation

Where seniority is strongly emphasised, a man may distinguish between the senior brother and
the junior brother either in behaviour alone or both in behaviour and terminology, but there still
remains a common element in the pattern of behaviour towards all brothers.

6. Division into generation

The distinction of generation has its basis in the elementary family, in the relations of parents and
children. A certain generalising tendency is discoverable in many kinship systems in the behaviour
of relatives of different generations. There is, in fact, a generalised relation of ascendancy and
subordination between the two generations.

7. Combinations of alternate generations

This means that relatives of the grandfather's generation are thought of as combined with those of
one's own generation over against the relatives of the parents' generation.

Functions of kinship
• Kinship assigns guidelines for interactions between persons. It defines proper, acceptable role
relationship between father- daughter, brother-sister etc.

• Kinship determines family line relationships, gotra and kula.

• Kinship decides who can marry with whom and where marital relationship are taboo.

• Kinship helps us to determine the rights and obligations of the members in all the sacraments
and religious practices starting from birth to death.

• Kinship system maintains solidarity of relationships.

• In rural and tribal societies kinship or kinship relations determine the rights and obligations of
the family and marriage, system of production and political power.

• Kinship through its different usages regulates the behaviour of different kin.

• Kinship helps in (through kinship terms) designating kin of various types such as classificatory
and descriptive.

• Kinship through its usages creates special groupings of kin.

• Kinship rules govern the role relationships among kins.

• Kinship acts as a regulator of social life.

• Kinship influences ownership of land, concept of wealth and the system of production and its

Kinship terminology
People perceive and define kin relations differently in different cultures (their native taxonomy)

there are a limited number of patterns in which people classify their kin

1. Lineal Terminology
it distinguishes lineal relatives from collateral relatives.

lineal relative is an ancestor or descendant, anyone on the direct line of descent that leads to
and from ego

Collateral relatives are all other kin

Affinals are relatives by marriage, whether of lineals (e.g., son’s wife) or of collaterals (sister’s

This terminology is more prevalent in industrial societies e.g. US, Canada (nuclear families)

2. Bifurcate Merging Terminology

bifurcates, or splits, the mother’s side and the father’s side.

it also merges same-sex siblings of each parent.

People use this system in societies with unilineal (patrilineal and matrilineal) descent rules and
unilocal (patrilocal and matrilocal) postmarital residence rules

3. Generational Terminology
• uses the same term for parents and their siblings, but the lumping is more complete

• With generational terminology, there are only two terms for the parental generation (father and
• Generational kinship terminology does not distinguish between the mother ’s and father ’s

• It uses just one term for father, father’s brother, and mother’s brother

• Generational kinship terminology also uses a single term for mother, mother ’s sister, and
father ’s sister.

• We’d expect to find generational terminology in cultures in which kinship is much more

• Kalahari San groups and several native societies of North America

• no rigid distinction between the father’s side and the mother’s side

4. Bifurcate Collateral Terminology

the most specific of all: It has separate terms for each of the six kin types of the parental

Many of the societies that use it are in North Africa and the Middle East

Summary table for terminologies

Notes (important for RATA!)
Genealogical Kin Types and Kin Terms
• Genealogical kin type refers to an actual genealogical relationship (e.g., father’s brother) as
opposed to a kin term (e.g., uncle).

• Kin terms reflect the social construction of kinship in a given culture.

• e.g. kin term may lump together several genealogical relationships (paternal, maternal cousins
lumped into one term: cousin)

• kinship calculation and kin terminologies reflect the social features of the host society/ culture

• e.g. if father’s brother and father are called by the same term then it shows their closeness and
significant role in the upbringing of the household’s children

Phratries and Moieties (exam question on this!)

Descent System

• a permanent social unit whose members say they have ancestors in common.

• Descent-group members believe they share, and descend from, those common ancestors.

• The group endures even though its membership changes, as members are born and die, move
in and move out.

• In general, every society recognises the fact that all offspring or children descend from parents
and that a biological relationship exists between parents and children.

Descent groups
• Descent groups may be lineages or clans, (which are further categorised into phratries and
• Common to both is the belief that members descend from the same apical ancestor
• That person stands at the apex, or top, of the common genealogy (e.g. Adam and Eve)


• refers to the line through which descent is traced.

• This is done through the father’s line or the mother’s line or sometimes through both sides.

• Both descent and lineage go together as one cannot trace descent without lineage

• A lineage uses demonstrated descent (they have a certain chain identified to link them to a
common ancestor)
• clans use stipulated descent (they just claim to be decedents of a certain ancestor)
• Clan members merely say they descend from the apical ancestor.

• They don’t try to trace the actual genealogical links between themselves and that

• clans have more members and cover a larger geographic area than lineages do

• Sometimes a clan’s apical ancestor is not a human at all but an animal or plant (called a

• the ancestor symbolizes the social unity and identity of the members, distinguishing them from
other groups.

• The economic types that usually have descent- group organization are horticulture,
pastoralism, and agriculture


• The term Phratry is derived from a Greek word Phrater which means a brother.

• Thus, a phratry is a kin group of brotherhood in which there are several clans combined

• a unilineal descent group composed of two or more clans.

• The members of a clan may feel they have particularly close ties with other clan or clans of the

• A kinship group which is one half of a dual division of the society is a moiety.

• Phratries are found in very few societies of the world.

• They were reported from Hopi and some other red Indians from United States

• Based on the principles of descent, phratries can also be classified into two types: 

• Matriphratries and Patriphratires 

• The phratries in a society can be named or may not be named.

• They may be or may not be exogamous

• The phratries are characterized by common religious obligations and observe common
religious rites.

• A phratry may constitute an important political unit.

• Among the Aztecs of Mexico the phratries are important political units in the structure of the

• A phratry may be associated with totemism like among the Muria Gonds.

• A phratry constitutes a group characterized by solidarity.

• The clans in a phratry retain their separate identity but each clan has some kind of special
affinity with the phratry.

• The term Moiety is derived from a French word meaning half.

• When a society is divided into two groups so that every person is necessarily a member of one
or the other groups, the dichotomy results in the formation of two moieties.

• Compared to Phratries, moieties have a wider occurrence in the various societies of the world.

• Murngin in Australia, Gonds and Korkus of Madhya Pradesh

• On the basis of the principles of descent governing the formation of the moieties, they can be
classified into patrilineal moieties and matrilineal moieties.

• Moieties can be named like among the Todas and may also be unnamed like among the
Australian societies.

• A moiety is usually exogamous. and rarely endogamous.

• Moreover a moiety may constitute a totemic group like among the Bondos of Orissa.

• A moiety is always associated with a dual organisation.

• This kind of dual organisation helps an easy detection of kinship relationships.

• In dual organisations one moiety may be linked to the other through complementary
roles in the form of exchange of specific services.

Examples: yanomami of Venezuela and Brazil (call their female cross cousins as “wives” and male
cross cousins as “brother-in-laws”)

Types of Descent/ Lineage systems

1) non-unilineal/ Ambilineal/ cognate decent system
• Double: ego acquires membership from both the matrilineal and patrilineal lineages according
to certain culturally defined rules (Yako of Nigerian)

• Bilateral: properly describes a pattern of property inheritance system in which the ego inherits
property and positions from any of the kins so recognised by him (the Hapu of Moari)

2) unilineal (agnate) decent system

• Matrilineal: individuals trace their genealogy through their mother’s ancestry (Ashanti tribe,

• Patrilineal: individuals trace their genealogy through their father’s ancestry (most societies)

Marital Residence Pattern

• Patterns of residence among newly married couple are very important in perpetuating the
structure of the particular group’s decent system.

• Different marital residence patterns are adopted by different societies and communities
depending on the needs and social organisation of such societies.

• Ingiabuna (2012) identified eight of such marital residence patterns:

i. Patrilocal or Verilocal Residence

• married couples are required to live in or near the husband’s family or lineage.

• The authority of the lineage head rests with the father, or in his absence, the eldest son.

ii. Matrilocal or Uxorilocal Residence

• married couples are expected to live with or near the wife’s family.

• Here the man is subject to the rule and authority of his wife’s kinsmen.

• This kind of residence pattern is mainly popular in matriarchal/ matrilineal societies and
societies where dowry payment is predominant.

• Among the Yao and Cewa of Malawi, a man lives in his wife’s home but he is later allowed to
remove her to a village of his own matrilineal kin

• This practice is also seen among the people of Trobriand Island

iii. Bilocal Residence

• couples can reside either with the man’s relatives or the wife’s relatives.

• this residence pattern became popular with the emergence of infectious diseases brought
about by European travellers who contracted such diseases, which eventually caused mass
death thereby completely erasing some families.

• Therefore people began to live with whichever parents or relatives that was alive.

• Another reason for the existence of this residence style is that couple often needed the
material support of one set of parents before setting up a home of theirs.

iv. Avunculocal Residence

• marital residence pattern in which a man and his wife settle down with his mother’s people
after marriage.

• Among the Yao and Cewa of Malawi in Central Africa, a man lives in his wife’s home after

• Later he moves to settle with his mother’s kinsmen.

v. Neolocal Residence
• married couples leave home for an independent residence after marriage.

• This refers to residency pattern in which the couple is expected to live separately outside of
the husband’s or the wife’s kinsmen.

• This means that on marriage they are not expected to live with either family but relocate to a
new location.

vi. Duolocal or Natolocal

• couples are required to reside separately.

• This means that both husband and wife stay in their families of orientation or in their
different apartments and only visit each other.

vii. Amitilocal Residence

• Here a girl child is expected to live with her father’s sister until she is married out.

• Similarly, a boy child remains with his parents, but moves to live with his father’s sister with
his wife as soon as he is married

viii. Uxori-Virilocal Residence

• the couple lives with the wife’s family and later with the man’s family after the man must
have proved himself a good provider through hunting and providing game meat for the
bride’s family.

• among the Yao and Cewa of Malawi in Central Africa, a man lives with his wife’s people
after marriage, and later moves to settle with his matrikin.

• The situation where he must provide this “bridal service” to his in-laws for a period before
relocating to his own territory may he described as uxori-local.

Economic Organisation

• An economic system is an organised arrangement for producing, distributing, and consuming

• Anthropologists study economics in the context of the total culture of particular societies

• Theories derived from the study of capitalist market economies have limited
applicability to economic systems in non-industrialised societies

• in non-industrialised societies the economic sphere of behaviour is not separate from

the social, religious, and political spheres

• In any given economic system, economic processes cannot be interpreted without

culturally defining the demands and understanding the conventions that dictate how
and when they are satisfied.

• Case in point: yam production among the Trobriand Islanders for their sisters, gifts> prestige

Evolution (don’t know if this is right!)

Brief background
• Humans have evolved in two ways

• In biological terms, this flexibility means that different organisms within the population
have somewhat differing genetic endowments.

• In cultural terms, it means that variation occurs among individual skills, knowledge,
and personalities.

Cultural evolution
• Through cultural adaptation, humans develop ways of doing things that are compatible with
the resources they have available to them and within the limitations of the various habitats in
which they live

• The process of adaptation establishes an ever-shifting balance between the needs of a

population and the potential of its environment.

• e.g. Tsembaga people of Papua New Guinea (pigs act as a balancing force in their economy:
feasts on special occasions only)

• Through their distinctive cultures, different human groups have managed to adapt to a very
diverse range of natural environments

• Human groups adapt to their environments by means of their cultures

• Difference between cultural evolution and progress: urban societies vs. Food foragers (both
are highly evolved, but in quite different ways)

• Cultural adaptation must also be understood from a historical point of view

• Example: Comanche of southern Idaho> traditionally foragers evolved to become raiders

when got horses and guns

• Convergent evolution
• the development of similar cultural adaptations to similar environmental conditions by
different peoples with different ancestral cultures

• Sometimes societies that developed independently of one another find similar

solutions to similar problems
• e.g. Cheyenne Indians and Comanche
• Parallel evolution

• similar cultural adaptations to similar environmental conditions are achieved by

peoples whose ancestral cultures were already somewhat alike.

• E.g. development of farming in south west Asia and Mesoamerica

Stages of Evolution
• economic organisation evolved with changes in the ways of food production

• Each mode of subsistence involves not only resources but also the technology required to
effectively capture and utilise them

Food-foraging societies
• It is a mode of subsistence involving some combination of hunting, fishing, and
gathering wild plant foods.

• Initially humans were few in numbers so they relied on foraging as a means of survival

• Economic activities were organised on the basis of subsistence, no hoarding (because

not need)

• Typically foragers: have less material goods, migrate regularly, maintain balanced diet,
have plenty of time

• Characteristics include: mobility, small group size, flexible division of labour by gender,
food sharing, egalitarian social relations

• Practiced in frozen arctic tundra, deserts and inaccessible forests

• Impact of technology on foragers: talk of guns and hunting techniques!

Food- producing societies (the neolithic revolution)

• As numbers grew, people began to settle rather than move from place to place

• Humans developed the art of domestication of plants and animals

• The transition from food foraging to food production first took place about 10,000
years ago in Southwest Asia (the Fertile Crescent)

• After the emergence of tool making, which enabled humans to consume significant
amounts of meat as well as plant foods, the next truly momentous event in human
history was the domestication of plants and animals.

• Transformation: new economic arrangements, social structures, and ideological

patterns based on plant cultivation, breeding and raising animals, or a mixture of both

• No longer on the move, they could build more permanent dwellings and began to
make pottery for storage of water, food, and so on

• This transformation took them from horticulture to agriculture

• Characteristics of food-producing societies: mixed farming (crop growing and animal


Substantivsim versus Formalism

Refer the slides!!

Distribution and Exchange

In societies without a money economy, the rewards for labor are usually direct

They consume what they produce, create tools for themselves and share when needed

In these economies the distribution of goods and services takes place through:

reciprocity, redistribution, and market exchange

• refers to the exchange of goods and services, of roughly equal value, between two parties

• May involve gift-giving: but what actually matters are the social ties that are created or
reinforced between givers and receivers

• Gift-giving is seldom self-less: motive is to fulfil social obligations and prestige

• Cultural traditions dictate the manner and occasion of exchange

• E.g. a hunt is always shared in Australia by indigenous hunters> hunter themselves get the
lowest share (worst meat), but they are compensated when someone else makes the hunt
next time: social credit to hunters

• Such sharing of food reinforces community bonds and ensures that everyone eats:

• Reciprocity falls into several categories

• Generalised reciprocity: exchange in which the value of what is given is not calculated, nor is
the time of repayment specified (mostly occurs among close kin networks)

• E.g. Australian example above

• Balanced reciprocity: A mode of exchange in which the giving and the receiving are specific
as to the value of the goods and the time of their delivery (One has a direct obligation to
reciprocate promptly in equal value)

• E.g. hosting baby showers in contemporary North America or buying drinks

• Kula ring in the southwestern Pacific Ocean

• Kula participants are men of influence who travel to islands within the Trobriand ring to
exchange prestige items

• ceremonial items (seemingly useless) circulated clockwise and anti-clockwise, keeps

flowing in the economy (armbands vs. necklaces): show of faith in the other party

• Divergent behaviour is also controlled through this system: isolating the ones who

• the Kula ring illustrates the inseparability of economic matters from the rest of culture.

• Negative reciprocity: A form of exchange in which the aim is to get something for as little as
possible. Neither fair nor balanced, it may involve hard bargaining, manipulation, and outright

• E.g. political fundraising in the United States (politicians vs. contributors)


Brief overview

• In every society, particular customs and rules govern “production” through:

• the kinds of work done,

• who does the work,

• attitudes toward the work,

• how it is accomplished,

• who controls the resources necessary

• The primary resources in any culture are raw materials, technology, and labor.

• The rules directing the use of these are embedded in a people’s culture and determine the way
the economy operates within any given natural environment.


Land and water resources

• Foragers own collectively: e.g. among the Ju/’hoansi of the Kalahari Desert territory defined
through water holes present in each territory

• kind of lease: can’t sell these lands, use it or leave it

• In modern capitalist societies everything is privately owned, with private property laws strictly

Technology resources
• foragers use simple tools, make and use yourself, share if needed

• recognition given to the creator: e.g. hunt’s first share given to the creator

• Technological know-how passed on through out generations, learned

• In modern societies, technology is advanced and complex

Land and labour patterns

• Division of labour by gender, age

• Cooperative labour followed in most primitive societies: work together on a project, no pay,
expectation of reciprocity next time, little compensation in the form of a one time feast

• Task specialisation followed in some primitive societies

Distribution and Exchange

Refer above



Brief overview
consumption is central to everyday life, identity and social order.

It is often associated with social class, identity, group membership, age and stratification as it
plays a huge part in modernity

How did the concept/ ways of consumption evolve?

Subsistence to moden economies

Fit in patterns of subsistence!!!

• Redistribution is a form of exchange in which goods flow into a central place where they are
sorted, counted, and reallocated: usually involves an element of power

• Sufficient surplus gives rise to support a government system, leaders collect tributes, taxes to

• The redistribution system of the ancient Inca empire in the Andean highlands of South
America was one of the most efficient the world has ever known

• They had Administrators to check inflows of inventories, census records

• careful accounts were kept of income and expenditures

Motives of redistribution
• gain or maintain a position of power through a display of wealth and generosity

• to assure those who support the leadership an adequate standard of living by providing them
with desired goods

• to establish alliances with leaders of other groups by hosting them at lavish parties and giving
them valuable goods.

Redistribution for prestige (prestige economy)

• Gradations of wealth small in primitive societies: through cultural practices and checks

• conspicuous consumption: In these societies, showy display for social prestige

• Acts as a strong motivator for the distribution of wealth.

• In present times, many North Americans and Europeans spend much of their lives
trying to impress others

• A form of conspicuous consumption also occurs in some crop-cultivating and foraging


• e.g. potlatches hosted by the chiefs of various American Indian groups

• In extreme displays of wealth, chiefs even destroyed some of their precious


Leveling mechanisms
• Levelling mechanism—a cultural obligation compelling prosperous members of a
community to give away goods, host public feasts, provide free service, or otherwise
demonstrate generosity so that no one permanently accumulates significantly more wealth
than anyone else.

• Potlatch is an example of levelling mechanism

• levelling mechanisms are important for the long-term survival of traditional communities

• Keep resources in circulation: they don’t have modern institutions which could do this

• They also reduce social tensions- promoting a collective sense of togetherness

Barter and primitive economic systems

Principles of primitive economy

• Economic relationships are based on barter and exchange: no currency

• Economic system is based upon social customs, physical conditions and faith in ancestors.

• Almost no primitive crosses their limits

• Profit is seldom the motive of economic activities

• Mutual obligations and unity perform the function of motivation

• Give and take among primitives is the basis of economic system

• Mutual cooperation and collective enterprises are characteristics of primitive economy
• There are no regular markets.

• Weekly moving markets are the bases of exchange.

• There is no monopoly and cut throat competition characteristic of civilised society.

• There is no institution of private property: All the land is collectively owned
• Economic values change in decades: There is no specialisation.

• Types of primitive economies include: foraging, pastoral, subsistence farming economies

• No concept of money in primitive societies, so they relied on barter

• Barter refers to a transaction when the parties negotiate a direct exchange of one trade good
for another (usually takes form of negative reciprocity)

• However other forms may include balanced reciprocity depending on the customs of a given

• E.g. In India: blacksmiths exchanging ghee, ghee producers exchanging grain etc.

• Hence reciprocity dominates the exchange system: fit in the reciprocity section here!!


Modes of subsistence
• ecosystem: A system, or a functioning whole, composed of both the natural environment and
all the organisms living within it.

• cultural evolution: Cultural change over time; not to be con- fused with progress.

• progress: The notion that humans are moving forward to

a better, more advanced stage in their cultural development toward perfection.

convergent evolution: In cultural evolution, the development of similar cultural adaptations to
similar environmental conditions by different peoples with different ancestral cultures.

• e.g. Cheyenne Indians and Comanche

• parallel evolution: In cultural evolution, the development of similar cultural adaptations to

similar environmental conditions by peoples whose ancestral cultures were already somewhat

• E.g. development of farming in south west Asia and Mesoamerica

• culture area: A geographic region in which a number of societies follow similar patterns of life

• food foraging: Hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plant foods.

• carrying capacity: The number of people that the avail- able resources can support at a given
level of food-getting techniques.

• Neolithic: The New Stone Age; prehistoric period beginning about 10,000 years ago in which
peoples possessed stone-based technologies and depended on domesticated plants and/or

• Neolithic revolution: The profound cultural change beginning about 10,000 years ago and
associated with the early domestication of plants and animals and settlement in permanent

• Horticulture: Cultivation of crops carried out with simple hand tools such as digging sticks or

• slash-and-burn cultivation: An extensive form of horticulture in which the natural vegetation

is cut, the slash is subsequently burned, and crops are then planted among the ashes; also
known as swidden farming.

• agriculture: The cultivation of food plants in soil prepared and maintained for crop production.
Involves using technologies other than hand tools, such as irrigation, fertilizers, and the
wooden or metal plow pulled by harnessed draft animals.

• pastoralism: Breeding and managing large herds of domesticated grazing and browsing
animals, such as goats, sheep, cattle, horses, llamas, or camels.

• agribusiness: Large-scale businesses involved in food production, including farming, contract

farming, seed supply, agrichemicals, farm machinery, distribution, processing, and marketing.
Also known as corporate farming, it stands in contrast to smaller family-owned farms.

The economic system

• economic system An organized arrangement for producing, distributing, and consuming

• technology Tools and other material equipment, together with the knowledge of how to make
and use them.

• reciprocity The exchange of goods and services, of approximately equal value, between two

• generalized reciprocity A mode of exchange in which the value of what is given is not
calculated, nor is the time of repayment specified.

• balanced reciprocity A mode of exchange in which the giving and the receiving are specific
as to the value of the goods and the time of their delivery.

• negative reciprocity A form of exchange in which the aim is to get something for as little as
possible. Neither fair nor balanced, it may involve hard bargaining, manipulation, and outright

• silent trade A form of product exchange in which mutually distrusting ethnic groups avoid
direct personal contact

• E.g. the Mbuti Pygmy of Congo’s Ituri forest: leave your goods, other come and

• May occur due to lack of lack of a common language, to control situations of distrust

• Kula ring A form of balanced reciprocity that reinforces trade relations among the seafaring
Trobriand Islanders and other Melanesians.

• redistribution: A form of exchange in which goods flow into a central place, where they are
sorted, counted, and reallocated.

• conspicuous consumption A showy display of wealth for social prestige.

• potlatch On the northwest coast of North America, a ceremonial event in which a village chief
publicly gives away stockpiled food and other goods that signify wealth.

• prestige economy Creation of a surplus for the express purpose of gaining prestige through a
public display of wealth that is given away as gifts.

• leveling mechanism A cultural obligation compelling prosperous members of a community to

give away goods, host pub- lic feasts, provide free service, or otherwise demonstrate
generosity so that no one permanently accumulates significantly more wealth than anyone

• market exchange The buying and selling of goods and services, with prices set by rules of
supply and demand.

• money Something used to make payments for other goods and services as well as to
measure their value.

• informal economy A network of producing and circulating marketable commodities, labor,

and services that for various reasons escapes government control.

Political organisation

• The term political organization refers to the way power is accumulated, arranged, executed,
and structurally embedded in society, whether in organizing a whale hunt, managing irrigated
farmlands, staging a religious festival, or raising an army.

• It is the means through which a society creates and maintains social order.

• It assumes a variety of forms among the peoples of the world

• Four basic kinds of political systems:

• bands

• tribes

• chiefdoms

• states

• The first two are uncentralized systems; the latter two are centralized.

Evolution of political system (pdf: the state)

• About 5,500 years ago, on the fertile floodplains of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is
today Iraq, there developed a type of society unique to its time.

• After millennia in which humans have gradually turned from migratory foraging toward
seasonal settlements based on a few domesticated plants and animals, and then toward year-
round farming villages, there came into being the world’s first true cities, and with them a
novel form of political organization.

• The hunting-foraging adaptation requires an almost perfect ecological balance: growing

populations meant a change was needed

• Radically new types of social structure appeared only with the sedentary lifestyles and greater
population densities brought about by the domestication of plants and animals.

• This revolution was by no means sudden: it took years to for this transition to materialise

• Previously, society had been structured according to kinship networks; now there appeared a
permanent administrative bureaucracy that demanded loyalties transcending lineage and clan.

• Local chiefs relinquished much of their authority to a ruling class who had the power to gather
the agricultural surpluses and call forth the labor necessary to create large-scale irrigation
projects and monumental architecture.

• Fortified cities, such as Uruk and Ur, boasted populations of upward of 40,000 “citizens.”

• A full-time caste of priests presided over a complex temple religion.

• Craft specialists manufactured the obsidian knives and gold and silver figurines that would tie
vast areas together through webs of trade.

• The state had been born

characteristics of Band societies

tribal societies


State societies (the making of state: heviland)

Internal conflict theories (pdf: the state)

external conflict theories (pdf: the state)

origin of civilisation (pdf: the state)

the politic of identity (downloaded PDF+gender notes)




post modernism (kottak)

• postmodernity

• Time of questioning of established canons, identities, and standards.

• postmodern

• Breakdown of established canons, categories, distinctions, and boundaries.

• postmodernism

• Movement after modernism in architecture; now much wider.

Postmodern architecture rejected the rules, geometric order, and austerity of modernism. Modernist buildings were expected to
have a clear and functional de- sign. Postmodern design is “messier” and more playful. It draws on a diversity of styles from
different times and places
NOTES (Extras)


Contemporary human problems??2

Urban Anthropology3
Rural-urban Migration

Basic overview
Rural flight (or rural exodus) is the migratory pattern of peoples from rural areas into urban areas.
It is urbanization seen from the rural perspective

In modern times, it often occurs in a region following the industrialization of agriculture

Rural flight is exacerbated when the population decline leads to the loss of rural services

Historical trends
Pre-industrial societies did not experience large rural-urban migration.

Lack of large employment industries, high urban mortality, and low food supplies all served as
checks keeping pre-industrial cities much smaller than their modern counterparts. 

The onset of the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the late 19th century removed many of these

As food supplies increased and stabilized and industrialized centers moved into place, cities
began to support larger populations, sparking the beginning of rural flight on a massive scale.

The United Kingdom went from having 20% of the population living in urban areas in 1800 to
more than 70% by 1925.

as industrialization spread throughout the world during the 20th century, rural flight
and urbanization followed quickly behind.

Today, rural flight is an especially distinctive phenomenon in some of the newer urbanized areas
including China and more recently sub-Saharan Africa

During the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression of the 1930s, large numbers of people fled rural
areas of the Great Plains

Post-World War II rural flight has been caused primarily by the spread of industrialized agriculture.

1 readings done, need to make notes

2 not worked yet
3 need to read on this, copied from wiki so far!!!!
Determinants of rural flight
There are several determinants, push and pull, that contribute to rural flight

Economic determinants
to pursue greater economic opportunity in urban areas: Greater economic opportunities can be
real or perceived.

Since the industrialization of agriculture, mechanization has reduced the number of jobs present in
rural communities.

globalisation: increased economic competitiveness leads people to choose capital over labor. 

The combination of declining rural jobs and a persistently high rural fertility rate

positive feedback loop: previous migrants from rural communities assist new migrants in adjusting
to city life

chain migration: migrant networks lower barriers to rural flight

For example, an overwhelming majority of rural migrants in China located jobs in urban areas
through migrant networks.

Some families choose to send their children to cities as a form of investment for the future.

remittances back home after getting a job in the city

Social determinants
Migration with households and marriage affect women in particular as most often they are the
ones required to move with households and move for marriage, especially in developing regions

Rural youth may choose to leave their rural communities as a method of transitioning into
adulthood, seeking avenues to greater prosperity.

rural youth may choose to migrate to cities out of social norms – demonstrating leadership and

In Sub-Saharan Africa, a study conducted by Touray in 2006 indicated that about 15% (26 million)
of urban migrants were youth.

Lastly, natural disasters can often be single-point events that lead to temporarily massive rural-
urban migration flows.

The 1930s Dust Bowl in the United States, for example, led to the flight of 2.5 million people from
the Plains by 1940, many to the new cities in the West.

More recently, drought in Syria from 2006-2011 has prompted a rural exodus to major urban

Consequences of rural flight

Migrants face several challenges that may hinder their quality of life

Many migrants do not have the education or skills to acquire decent jobs in cities and are then
forced into unstable, low paying jobs.

The steady stream of new rural migrants worsens underemployment and unemployment, common
among rural migrants.

Employers offer lower wages and poorer labor conditions to rural migrants, who must compete
with each other for limited jobs, often unaware of their labor rights.

Many cities have exploded in population; services and infrastructure, in these cities, are unable to
keep up with population growth.

Massive influxes in rural population can lead to severe housing shortages, inadequate water and
energy supply, and general slum-like conditions throughout cities.

rural migrants often struggle adjusting to city life.

In some instances, there are cultural differences between the rural and urban areas of a region.

Urban residents may also look down upon these newcomers to the city who are often unaware of
city social norms.

Both marginalized and separated from their home cultures, migrants face many social challenges
when moving to cities

Women, in particular, face a unique set of challenges.

employers may attempt to take advantage of women migrants preying on their unfamiliarity with
labor laws and social networks on which to rely.

In the worst of cases, destitution may force women into prostitution, exposing them to social
stigma and the risks of sexually transmitted diseases

Expansion of cities/ urbanisation/ development

III. Urban Anthropology
Rural-urban migration, (kottak 143: small part)
expansion of cities,
major environmental issues,
sanitation problems.
Urbanization and development,
establishment of slums and squatter settlements,
wars and conflict.
Conversion of power from feudal to industrialists,
education system,
change in the mode of production: agriculture to Capitalists’ poverty: theories and remedies,
psychological, cultural, economical, political, religious, physical, environmental, ecological,
demographical, lingual, and city management.
Conflict theory: Carl Marx,
problems created by the mechanization and automation.

Ethnicity and race

Ethnic Groups and Ethnicity: (kottak: ch6)

Ethnic groups
• One among several culturally distinct groups in a society or region

• members of an ethnic group share certain beliefs, values, habits, customs, and norms
because of their common background

• Distinction may arise from a combination of: similar language, religion, historical experience,
geographic placement, kinship, or “race”

• Markers of ethnic groups

• a collective name,

• belief in common descent,

• a sense of solidarity,

• an association with a specific territory


• Identification with an ethnic group

• According to Fredrik Barth (1969), ethnicity can be said to exist when people claim a certain
ethnic identity for themselves and are defined by others as having that identity

• It means identification with, and feeling part of, an ethnic group and exclusion from certain
other groups because of this affiliation.

• Ethnic feelings and associated behaviour vary in intensity within ethnic groups and countries
and over time.

• A change in the degree of importance attached to an ethnic identity may reflect:

• political changes (Soviet rule ends— ethnic feeling rises)

• individual life-cycle changes (young people relinquish, or old people reclaim, an ethnic

• Individuals often have more than one group identity

• people constantly negotiate their social identities: situational negotiation of social identity

Origin of race and theories

What is a Race? (kottak)

‣ Race: Ethnic group assumed to have a biological basis

‣ In theory, a biological race is a geographically isolated subdivision of a species

‣ Such a subspecies would be capable of interbreeding with other subspecies of the same
species, but it would not actually do so because of its geographic isolation.

‣ Some biologists also use “race” to refer to “breeds,” (e.g. bulldog is a “race”)

‣ Humanity (Homo sapiens) lacks such races because:

‣ human populations have not been isolated enough from one another to develop into such
discrete groups

‣ humans have not experienced controlled breeding like that which has created the various
kinds of dogs and roses

The Origin of Races (google)

• People whose ancestors have been living in the same geographic area for a long time tend to
show similarities in visible characteristics such as size and shape, skin colour, and hair form,
and also invisible characteristics such as blood groups.

• Human "racial" diversity is a result of people in a geographic area intermarrying, being

exposed to a number of biological processes, and adapting slowly to local environments.

• These biological processes include combining and recombining inherited genetic material over
the generations, which produces offspring and descendants who differ from their parents and

• The environment may favour certain characteristics, producing populations that are on the
average taller, or darker, or more rugged than other populations from other geographic areas.

• Isolation and inbreeding of some populations may produce differences as well.

• These natural processes occur in humans as well as other animals and are the source
of much study in biology and anthropology.

• However, even if people in different geographic areas differ, it is impossible to draw sharp lines
between racial groups.

• Few if any populations are cut off from others, and even if laws, culture, and/or religion
prohibit it, mating does take place.

• Characteristics of people change gradually from one geographic area to another

• Anthropologists see races as temporary, changing phenomena, products of genetic processes

and natural selection.

• The races we see today are different from those of yesterday and will be different tomorrow

Human biological diversity and the concept of Race (page129 kottak)

Historically, scientists have approached the study of human biological diversity in two main ways:

(1) racial classification (now largely abandoned)

(2) the current explanatory approach, which focuses on understanding specific differences

Racial classification
• A race is supposed to reflect shared genetic material (inherited from a common ancestor), but
early scholars instead (wrongly) used phenotypical traits (usually skin colour) for racial

• However there are certain problems with using phenotypical traits for racial classification:

1. Problem of deciding which traits are most important

• Should you classify on the basis of height, weight, colour of skin?

• Priority was given to skin colour initially and it was as arbitrary as any other trait
(colonial times)

• Many schoolbooks and encyclopaedias still proclaim the existence of three great
races: the white, the black, and the yellow

• Additional problem: skin colour not accurately described either (whites contains
beige, pink; blacks have different shades of brown, yellow: so no fixed position)

• Human populations don’t fit neatly into any one of the three “great races”

• Is it better to use a combination of traits for racial classification?

• It is fraught with more difficulties

• For example, people with dark skin may be tall or short

2. Phenotypical similarities and differences don’t necessarily have a genetic basis

• Difficulty to distinguish Heredity (versus environment) induced phenotypical traits

• Changes in the environment affect individuals during growth and development

• The range of phenotypes characteristic of a population may change without any

genetic change (natural selection plays a key role)

• E.g. explaining skin colour (pg. 131 kottak)

• Gist: variation in human skin colour results from a balancing act between the
evolutionary needs to:

(1) protect against all UV hazards (dark skin in the tropics) and

(2) have an adequate supply of vitamin D (lighter skin outside the tropics)

What’s wrong with Race?

• Race is socially constructed

• Was largely used in the colonial times to validate subjugation and inequalities

• Leaders among European-Americans fabricated the cultural/ behavioural

characteristics associated with each “race,” linking superior traits with Europeans and
negative and inferior ones to blacks and Indians: validation of slavery and other
cruelties, holocaust

• It became a strategy for dividing, ranking, and controlling colonised people used by colonial
powers everywhere.

• “Race” thus evolved as a world view, a body of prejudgments that distorts our ideas
about human differences and group behaviour.

• American anthropological association:

• No human is born with a built-in culture or language. Our temperaments, dispositions,
and personalities, regardless of genetic propensities, are developed within sets of
meanings and values that we call “culture” . . .

• present-day inequalities between so-called “racial” groups are not consequences of

their biological inheritance but products of historical and contemporary social,
economic, educational, and political circumstances

• Evidence: The analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about
94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic “racial” groupings differ
from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation
within “racial” groups than between them!

Social construction of Race

Explain the view of AAA as above!

• Races are ethnic groups assumed (by members of a particular culture) to have a biological
basis, but actually race is socially constructed.

• The “races” we hear about every day are cultural, or social, rather than biological categories

• Social construction of race in different societies

1. Hypodescent: Race in the United States

• In American culture, one acquires his or her racial identity at birth, as an ascribed

• American culture follows the Hypodescent Rule

• It automatically places the children of a union between members of different groups in

the minority group: “racially mixed” child is ascribed as black

• Blacks still facing discrimination as manifest in contemporary America!

2. Not Us: Race in Japan

• Japan has cultivated its image as a nation “that is homogeneous in race, ethnicity,
language, and culture”

• however, 10 percent of Japan’s national population are minorities of various sorts

• Japan follows “intrinsic racism”—the belief that a (perceived) racial difference is a

sufficient reason to value one person less than another.

• In Japan the valued group is majority (“pure”) Japanese, who are believed to share “the
same blood.”

• The (majority) Japanese define themselves by opposition to others, whether minority

groups in their own nation or outsiders—anyone who is “not us.”

• E.g. Burakumin are perceived as standing apart from majority Japanese.

Through ancestry, descent (and thus, it is assumed, “blood,” or genetics)

• More like the Indian concept of race: Burakumin considered “untouchables”

• Residentially segregated, discriminated, considered unclean, no inter-

marriage, limited access to education, health, and other amenities

3. Phenotype and Fluidity: Race in Brazil

• Brazilians use many racial labels to distinguish different classes

• Through their traditional classification system, Brazilians recognise and attempt to describe
the physical variation that exists in their population

• In Brazil racial identity is more flexible, more of an achieved status.

• Brazilian racial classification pays attention to phenotype— expressed physical characteristics

(“manifest biology”—physiology and anatomy, including skin colour, hair form, facial features,
and eye colour)

• A brazilian can change his or her race by adopting different lifestyles and cultures

• No hypodescent rule developed in Brazil because of historical reasons

• The Portuguese came as men: attacked, married with locals, had local heirs

• English settlers came with families and avoided any intermarriage children

Race theories?? (google)

Ethnic Groups, Nations and Nationality (kottak: ch6)

Basic definitions

Ethnic groups: already discussed above

Nations and Nationalities

• The term nation once was synonymous with tribe or ethnic group
• Now nation has come to mean state
• Combined in nation-state they refer to an autonomous political entity, a country

• Because of migration, conquest, and colonialism, most nation-states are not ethnically

• Nationalities: Ethnic groups that have, once had, or want, their own country
Nationalities and Imagined Communities
• Nationalities
• Ethnic groups that once had, or wish to have or regain, autonomous political status
(their own country)
• they are “imagined communities.”

• Even when they become nation-states, they remain imagined communities because most of
their members, though feeling comradeship, will never meet

• Western European nationalism, which arose in imperial powers such as England, France, and
Spain, can be traced back to the 18th century.

• Language and print media played a huge role during that time to reinforce a common thought
among the populace: everybody read the same thing, and adopted the same concepts

• Over time, political upheavals, wars, and migration have divided many imagined national
communities that arose in the 18th and 19th centuries:

• E.g. Germany and Korea divided after 2nd world war; Kurds left stranded after creation
of independent states

• Colonialism also helped foster the concept of “imagined communities” beyond nations

• E.g. the negritide: blacks from different African states formed one entity

Ethnic Conflict (kottak: ch6)

Positive interactions

• describes the process of change that a minority ethnic group may experience when it moves
to a country where another culture dominates.

• By assimilating, the minority adopts the patterns and norms of its host culture.

• It is incorporated into the dominant culture to the point that it no longer exists as a separate
cultural unit

• e.g. Brazil where different ethnic groups have subsumed their individual ethnicities in
favour of a Brazilian identity

The plural society

• A Society with economically interdependent ethnic groups

• Ethnic distinctions can persist despite generations of interethnic contact.

• Through a study of three ethnic groups in Swat, Pakistan, Fredrik Barth, challenged an old
idea that interaction always leads to assimilation.

• He showed that ethnic groups can be in contact for generations without assimilating
and can live in peaceful coexistence

• In Barth’s view, ethnic boundaries are most stable and enduring when the groups occupy
different ecological niches. That is, they make their living in different ways and don’t compete.

• Given niche specialisation, ethnic boundaries and interdependence can be maintained,

although the specific cultural features of each group may change.

Multiculturalism and ethnic identity

• The view of cultural diversity in a country as some- thing good and desirable

• Opposite of assimilationist

• The multicultural view encourages the practice of cultural–ethnic traditions.

• A multicultural society socialises individuals not only into the dominant (national) culture but
also into an ethnic culture

• In the United States and Canada multiculturalism is of growing importance

‣ Growing migration

‣ Changing ethnic composition

‣ Globalisation

• Multiculturalism seeks ways for people to understand and interact that don’t depend on
sameness but rather on respect for differences.

• Multiculturalism stresses the interaction of ethnic groups and their contribution to the country

• A Shift away from “melting pots” to “salad bowls”

Negative interactions

prejudice, discrimination, Genocide, ethnocide, cultural colonialism, ethnic


Roots of ethnic conflict

‣ Ethnicity can be expressed either peacefully (multiculturalism) or through discrimination,
violent interethnic confrontation, genocide, ethnocide… (refer table below)

‣ The perception of cultural differences can have disastrous effects on social interaction.

‣ The roots of ethnic differentiation can be political, economic, religious, linguistic, cultural, or

‣ Sense of injustice

‣ Reaction to discrimination

‣ Expressions of devalued identity

‣ E.g. Iraq’s Sunni minority oppressed the Shitte minority under Sadam Hussain!

Prejudice and Discrimination

‣ Ethnic conflict often arises in reaction to prejudice (attitudes and judgments) or
discrimination (action)

‣ Prejudice stems from stereotyping

‣ Discrimination can be:

‣ de facto: practiced, but not legally sanctioned (harsher treatment for minorities in

‣ de jure: part of law (segregation in US and apartheid in South Africa)
‣ Basic terms:
‣ prejudice: Devaluing a group be- cause of its assumed attributes.

‣ stereotypes: Fixed ideas about what members of a group are like.

‣ discrimination: Policies and practices that harm a group and its members.

‣ e.g. arrival of Koreans in US in 1992: clashes with African Americans due to competition and
mismatch of American values and cultures (Koreans not friendly, polite)

Degree of Social Variation (Ember)

Brief overview
Societies vary in the extent to which social groups, as well as individuals, have unequal access to

unequal access to three types of advantages:

(1) wealth or economic resources (land, tools, goods)

(2) power (ability to force others to do what you want)

(3) prestige (respect or honour accorded to someone)

Thus, anthropologists conventionally distinguish three types of society in terms of the degree to
which different social groups have unequal access to advantages: egalitarian, rank, and class

Stratification in three types of societies

Some social groups have greater access to:

Types of societies Economic Power Prestige Examples

Egalitarian no no no !Kung, Mbuti,
aborigines, Inuit,
Aché, Yanomamö
rank no no yes Samoans, Tahiti,
Trobriand Islands,
class/ caste yes yes Yes United States,
Canada, Greece,
India, Inca

Types of societies

Egalitarian societies
• Societies in which all people of a given age-sex category have equal access to economic
resources, power, and prestige

• Egalitarian societies can be found not only among foragers, horticulturalists, pastoralists

• egalitarian does not mean that all people within such societies are the same.

• differences among individuals in age, gender, abilities like hunting skill, perception etc.

• Some difference in prestige exists (e.g better hunters) but can be transferred

• An egalitarian society keeps inequality at a minimal level

• Any differences in prestige that do exist are not related to economic differences.

• sharing: ensures equal access to economic resources despite differences in acquired


• For instance, in some egalitarian communities, some members achieve higher status
through hunting (but differences evened out after distribution of hunt)

• The culture works to separate the status that members achieve

• Egalitarian societies use a number of customs to keep leaders from dominating others.

• Criticism and ridicule can be very effective (The Mbuti of central Africa shout down an
overassertive leader)

• Disobedience is another strategy (killing the leader is also possible in some cases)

• move away from a leader they don’t like

Rank societies*
• Societies that do not have any unequal access to economic resources or power, but with
social groups that have unequal access to status positions and prestige

• Ranking is characterized by social groups with unequal access to prestige or status but not
significantly unequal access to economic resources or power.

• Unequal access to prestige is often reflected in the position of chief

• the position of chief is at least partly hereditary (Polynesians)

• chiefs are often treated with deference by people of lower rank. For example, among
the Trobriand Islanders of Melanesia (chief treated like a king)

• Although there is no question that chiefs in a rank society enjoy special prestige, there is some
controversy over whether they really do not also have material advantages.

• chief in a rank society lacks power because he usually cannot make people give him gifts or
force them to work on communal projects

Class societies*
• Class Societies are societies containing social groups that have unequal access to economic
resources, power, and prestige

• A social class is a category of people who all have about the same opportunity to obtain
economic resources, power, and prestige.

• In class societies, groups of people are stratified, or divided into levels, according to their
degree of access not only to prestige, as in rank societies, but also to wealth and power.

• Class societies range in strictness from somewhat open systems, to virtually closed, or caste,

➡ Open Class system

• A category of people who have about the same opportunity to obtain economic
resources, power, and prestige.

• Class systems are called open if there is some possibility of moving from one class to

• An important way classes perpetuate themselves is through inheritance to generations

• In addition to differences in occupation, wealth, and prestige, social classes vary in

many other ways, including religious affiliation etc.

• Class boundaries have been established by custom and tradition; sometimes they
have been reinforced by the enactment of laws

• E.g. private property laws in the U.S.

➡ Degree of openness
• Some class systems are more open than others

• Measuring the degree of mobility: compare with older generations

• Class openness varies over time and space

➡ Degree of inequality
• Degree of class mobility is related to degree of inequality—more unequal societies
generally have less mobility from one class to another.

• Change over time in the degree of inequality sometimes appears to have economic
causes; for example, the 1929 crash made the wealthy less wealthy.

• One way of measuring inequality is by the Gini coefficient

➡ Caste systems (covered below)

• societies where classes (called castes) are virtually closed.

• A caste is a ranked group in which membership is determined at birth, and marriage is

restricted to members of one’s own caste.

• The only way you can belong is by being born into the group

• e.g. Indian hindu caste system

• Perpetuation of the caste system is ensured by the power of those in the upper castes,
who derive three main advantages from their position: economic, prestige, and sexual

• Japan also had a caste group within a class society (burakumin)

• In the United States, African Americans used to have more of a caste-like status

• South Africa: Apartheid (all are manifestations of a caste system)

Rank Societies; (heviland:ch22)

Brief intro from above

Definition and markers of Rank societies

‣ Rank commonly refers to the social position of people in societies recognising social
hierarchies of one kind or another

‣ How people are socially situated in any given society vis-à-vis others is a political question

‣ it is an issue of people’s relative “value” as this is determined by the members of a community

‣ In the political sphere, rank clearly identifies the hierarchical relationships of people operating
within positions of power and authority.

‣ However, the basis upon which these relationships rest may be found within the belief
systems of the people.

‣ These societies are organised according to principles determining the relative value of certain
groups or individuals over others.

‣ implications for people’s relative access to resources, opportunity, positions of power, and
authority within the political or religious sectors.

‣ markers of relative value:

‣ age, gender, and other individual characteristics

Types of Ranks societies

Ascribed Rank societies

• A society in which social status is not based on an individual’s choice

• i.e. where individuals and groups find themselves in relative positions of rank by virtue of
being born into socially established positions of hierarchy
‣ E.g. The Trobriand Islands 
‣ uses hereditary rank established in the mythological origins of the four clans.

‣ Each of the clans has relative status to each other (Tabalu clan holding the highest

‣ clans further divided into subclans that are likewise ranked.

‣ Not only does the highest-ranking chief come from the Tabalu clan, but he also comes
from the highest-ranking subclan

‣ E.g. The indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands

‣ had a more complex social system based on hereditary rank and classes. 

‣ people were born into social classes as inferiors, commoners, or nobles. 

‣ traced descent from the gods, with those more closely linked to godly descent
occupying the higher echelons of the society and forming the elite classes

‣ The whole system was ranked according to formal rules of hierarchical descent.

‣ The ruling elite maintained religious and secular control over the rest of the population

‣ E.g. the Hindu rank system

Achieved Rank societies

• A society where social status is effected by individual choices and achievements

• In these societies, there is no formal, well-established hierarchical structuring of groups, no

positions of rank to be filled.

• Instead, all groups enjoy relative equality with each other and group consensus is sought in
decision making.

• However, there are some men who seek more status by manipulating relationships of
exchange and marriage to build up positions of status.

• While achieved status gives them temporary “rank” in that people look to them for leadership
and direction, their positions are extremely tenuous.

• They have no official status.

‣ E.g. the “big man” political systems of Melanesia

‣ men establish their rank by “achieving” status for themselves.

Social Stratification (heviland:ch11, 22): Pick points from variation


Brief overview
‣ A society in which people are hierarchically divided and ranked into social strata, or layers,
and do not share equally in the basic resources that support survival, influence, and prestige.

‣ The rise of large, economically diversified populations presided over by centralised governing
authorities brought with it social stratification, or the emergence of social classes.

‣ Evidence found in archaeological sites (grave goods, skeletons, customs): Mesopotamia

‣ Social stratification is a common and powerful structuring force in many of the world’s

‣ In sharp contrast to egalitarian society, where everyone is treated equally (foragers)

‣ Members of bottom strata suffer discrimination, abuse, hate etc.

‣ They receive lower status, fewer resources, no power etc.

Manifestations of social stratification

Caste and Class Societies*

‣ Social class
‣ It is a category of individuals in a stratified society who enjoy equal or “nearly equal”
prestige according to the system of evaluation.

‣ A certain amount of inequality may occur even within a given class

‣ Class distinctions not always clear-cut

‣ Indicators of Social Status

‣ Verbal evaluation (what people say about others in the society)
‣ Patterns of association (who interacts with whom, how and in what context)
‣ Symbolic indicators (status symbols)
‣ Caste
‣ It is a closed social class in a stratified society in which membership is determined by
birth and fixed for life.

‣ the caste system is based on the principle that humans neither are nor can be equal.

‣ Castes are strongly endogamous, and offspring are automatically members of their
parents’ caste.

Example: The traditional Hindu caste system (India’s Hidden Apartheid)

‣ world’s longest surviving social hierarchy

‣ encompasses a complex ranking of social groups on the basis of “ritual purity.”

‣ Jatis: Some 2,000 different castes varying regionally

‣ Further categorised into 4 categories:

‣ Brahamins: priests and lawgivers, the purest
‣ Kashatryas: fighters and rulers
‣ Vaisyas: merchants and traders
‣ Sudras: artisans and labourers
‣ Falling outside the varna system is a fifth category of degraded individuals
“Untouchables: Ashud”, later named Harijan (children of God) by Gandhi

‣ Each caste follows its specific dharma (ritual path of duty) and avoids taboos
‣ Differences in caste rankings justified by concept of karma (the Hindu religious
doctrine of the transmigration of the soul)
‣ The caste system is still widespread in India, with segregation of whole villages

‣ Recently civil rights movements led by Shudras and the Ashuds (Dalit

‣ Gulabi Gand: India’s pink women with “lathis” a subgroup of such movements

Example: Historical Racial Segregation in South Africa and the United States
‣ hierarchy based on ethnic origin or skin colour

1. Apartheid (segregation): white superiority ideology officially relegated indigenous dark-

skinned Africans to a low-ranking stratum.

‣ South African whites feared pollution of their purity through improper contact with

2. Same followed in the US: ruling class comprised of the European immigrants

‣ Manifested in one drop rule: it codified the idea of white racial purity by classifying
individuals as black if just one of their multiple ancestors was of African origin

‣ Such institutionalized racial discrimination continued for a century after slavery was

‣ today self-segregation exists in many parts of the United States

Maintaining stratification
‣ The elites assert stratification through intimidation or propaganda (in the form of gossip,
media, religious doctrine, and so forth) that presents their position as normal, natural, divinely
guided, or at least well-deserved.

‣ e.g. through religious ideologies

‣ Hindus: social order is divinely fixed and not to be questioned (karma system,

Social mobility
‣ Most stratified societies offer at least some sort of social mobility (Upward or
downward change in one’s social class position in a stratified society)

‣ Prospects of improving eases the strains

‣ Open-class societies
‣ Societies that permit a great deal of mobility

‣ Highest mobility where: most common in societies made up of independent nuclear

families, fewer people, neolocal residence

‣ E.g. U.S. society

‣ Closed-class societies
‣ societies that do not permit mobility

‣ Severe institutionalised limits to social mobility

‣ E.g. hindu caste system

Racism and Inequality, (EMBER)

Brief overview on Racism: covered

Race as a construct in biology: covered

Race as a social construct: covered

Racism and inequality

• Incidence of cardiovascular disease: African Americans die more often than European

• The same kind of disparity occurs also with almost every other major cause of death—cancer,
cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, diabetes, injuries, infant mortality, and homicide.

• African Americans twice as likely as European Americans to have high rates of hypertension
(high blood pressure).

• stress levels also higher: African Americans still subject to prejudice and discrimination

• Proven fact that blacks from other countries not at the same level of risk as blacks in

• subtle discrimination by the medical profession itself: unequal medical care.

• related also to differences in lifestyle and wealth.

• African Americans in the United States are disproportionately poorer

• Self-segregation, unequal access to education, health

• Add more!!

The arbitrary and social basis of racial classifications

• Consider, for example, what used to be thought about the “races” in South Africa.

• when important people of African ancestry (from other countries) would visit South Africa, they
were often considered “white.”

• Chinese were considered “Asian”; but the Japanese, who were important economically to
South Africa, were considered “white.”

• In much of Latin America and the Caribbean, the reverse rule is the case.

• A small amount of European blood can make you “white.”

• If people of different “races” are viewed as inferior, they are more likely going to end up on the
lower rungs of the social ladder in a socially stratified society.

• Discrimination will keep them out of the better-paying or higher-status jobs and in
neighborhoods that are poorer with underperforming schools.

• One recent study sent résumés for jobs with randomly assigned “white” sounding names or
“black” sounding names.

Way forward: may be copied from ethnicity part!!

Ethnicity and Inequality, (EMBER)

Brief overview on ethnicity: covered

Politics of ethnicity
• It is apparent that ethnic groups and ethnic identities emerge as part of a social and political

• Outsiders and insiders often perceive ethnic groups differently. In a country with one large
core majority group, often the majority group doesn’t think of itself as an ethnic group

• Ethnic differences can sometimes arise from class differences. India is a good example!!

• Ethnic identity may be manipulated, by insiders and by outsiders, in different situations.

Ethnicity and inequality

• In many multiethnic societies, ethnicity and diversity are things to be proud of and celebrated

• Still, ethnic differences in multiethnic societies are usually associated with inequities in wealth,
power, and prestige.

• In other words, ethnicity is part of the system of stratification.

• Although some people believe that inequities are deserved, the origins of ethnic stereotypes,
prejudice, and discrimination usually follow from historical and political events

• e.g. the English were the invaders, and negative stereotypes about native peoples were
developed to justify taking their land and their lives

• African slaves were initially acquired as cheap labor, but inhumane treatment of slaves was
justified by beliefs about their inferiority

Way forward
• the picture is not all bleak: Change has occurred.

• The ethnic identity a minority group forges can help promote political activism, such as the
nonviolent civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s

• The traditional barriers in the United States have mostly been lifted in recent years,

• however the “color line” has not disappeared.

• African Americans are found in all social classes, but they remain underrepresented in the
wealthiest group and overrepresented at the bottom.

• Discrimination may be lessened, but it is still not gone.

• Self-segregation, other discriminations: arrests, prejudice, high rates of convictions, shootings

Socio-Cultural Changes
Need to read, make notes!!

Anthropological theories
Hamza’s notes (need to self-read)

Anthropological research methods

Hamza’s notes (need to self-read)